Democrats Pull Ahead of Republicans in Major Senate Races. National Polling Shows Voters Ready for Change
There's less than 100 days until the November midterm elections, and the Democrats, who need six seats to regain control of the Senate, are beginning to sense that victory could be right around the corner. New polls show that Democratic challengers in several key states have pulled ahead of their Republican opponents in what could foreshadow the sort of voter backlash not seen since New Gingrich and the Republican Revolution swept the GOP into power in 1994.
Here's how it looks in several hotly contested races: According to Rasmussen, in Missouri, Claire McCaskill now leads Sen. Jim Talent 45%-42%. In Ohio, Sherrod Brown leads Sen. Mike DeWine 44%-42%. In Tennessee's race for the retiring Bill Frist's seat, Zogby has Democrat Harold Ford Jr. leading Bob Corker 43.6% to 42.5%. Rhode Island's Sen. Lincoln Chafee has fallen behind Democratic challenger Sheldon Whitehouse 46%-41%. In Pennsylvania, Bob Casey Jr. continues to hold a solid double-digit lead over Sen. Rick Santorum. In Montana, Sen. Conrad Burns trails Jon Tester 50%-43%. And what was once in Washington looking like a vulnerable Democratic seat, Sen. Maria Cantwell now holds a commanding 11-point lead over Mike McGavick, 48% - 37%. Additionally, poll numbers have dropped appreciably for Senate Republicans Jon Kyl (AZ) George Allen (VA), who are facing tougher challenges than anyone expected six months ago.
On the national front, voters are continuing to voice strong opposition to the current GOP leadership:
-Democrats lead Republicans by a 10-point margin in two different polls: A NBC/WSJ survey has Dems leading 48-38 for Congress and a CBS/NY Times poll has Dems leading 45-35.
-In a CBS/NY Times poll, 33% say their vote will be a vote against Bush and 51% of voters have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party.
-In the NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, 60% disapprove of the GOP-led Congress.
-Democrats are trusted to make the right decisions about the Iraq war by a 6-point margin and on the economy by a 12-point margin in the CBS/New York Times poll.
When you factor in this polling trend, combined with President Bush's abysmal approval ratings, the Iraq war, the crisis in the Middle East, astronomical gas prices, record deficits, a struggling economy and a sagging housing market, the stage is indeed set for a Democratic House and Senate victory this Fall.